If your Open Source company plans to sell books about its products or do community marketing via Weblogs, then you need a strategy that takes into account the whole chain of knowledge production within and outside of your organization to be truly successful.
That chain leads from “raw material” such as emails to a blog entry that a staff member writes about a solution found in an email discussion. Another employee or community member might write an article based on that blog post and from several similar articles you could make a book.
In short: email -> blog -> article -> book.
A book is on the one side something like a high-end knowledge product. On the other side, it helps others to learn about your products and to innovate. That would be an ideal knowledge life cycle.
Open Source companies need to take into account the tight relationship they have with the community. The borders between those groups blur and eventually corporate knowledge management also needs to focus on the community.
In fact, the production of knowledge products by Open Source companies will work quite similar to how Open Source code is being created. That means, by listening to your community, you will understand what kind of knowledge products aka type of information they need most. This will help you to avoid wrong investments in the creation of knowledge products.
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